The player — also known as the emotionally unavailable man, the commitment-phobic, the dog, the smooth operator — are all terms to describe the man who just can’t or won’t take the relationship to the next level. You don’t want to wake up and discover that you are in a relationship with this sort of guy and can’t move it along. So, here are some signs to lookout for:
1.Ultra charming. He has smooth lines and immediately makes you feel like you are his number one superstar. He lays the charm on thick and before you know it, you are reeled in like an unsuspecting fish on a hook of goodies. Proceed with caution. He might just be all about the chase, so take your time getting to know this one.
2.Sporadic communication. After a period of constant texting, he falls off the grid for a few days or even a few weeks. This player will not take you out every weekend because he is busy managing a schedule of rotating women. So if you only hear from your Prince Charming every other week or once a month, don’t expect this to materialize into anything more than a fling.
3. Relationship history is empty. The man’s track record shows uninterrupted bachelorhood. When you inquire about his past relationships, he does not report anything long or serious. If you have kept a toothbrush longer than he has ever kept a girlfriend, he just might have a commitment issue.
4. Look to his friends for a clue. His friends are an implicit source of information. You may not meet this player’s friends and if you do, they may show little interest in getting to know you. It might be because you are his fifteenth conquest this summer. Why put in any effort when they are probably expecting you to vanish as quickly as your predecessors have.
5. Addiction. If you notice signs of addiction, your party boy might not have control over his behavior. That means there will inevitably be a great deal of lying, avoiding, hiding and covering up that goes along with his behavior. Whatever he happens to be addicted to, whether it’s alcohol, drugs, gambling, or something else, that thing will pretty much always be prioritized over you.
6. He tells you that he is not ready for a commitment. This is the final no brainer. If he explicitly tells you, “I am not ready for a relationship,” that is not an invitation to fix him. Either run, or enjoy the casual dates with properly managed expectations.
Players are very seductive and very successful at stealing your heart . When you discover the sign in the window says “Closed” that means the shop is not letting anyone inside, no matter how attractive and special you are. So unless you don’t mind standing outside in the cold looking in, it’s best to move along and look elsewhere.
Written by Carla Litto, M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy